Just a song recently in my view. If you have a daughter, especially a father, you feel me on this one. There is so much about this track that I can relate too. Take a listen and let me know your thoughts…..Have to love real hip hop!!!
Father’s Day was once again amazing for me and I enjoyed my family, yet I still have not figured the best balance between appreciating this day to honor Me as a father and dealing with the void of not having my father here with me. Usually around this time, even when I am on a “writing hiatus” I end up writing something to release some of my thoughts. I sat down at decided to type this to express how I was thinking about my father. I am saddened and I am hurt without you here, but I am very appreciative of the time afforded to me and would never take it for granted. I am sure I will get where I want to be and find that balance, but this year was not it. RIP to my father!!! #ASNF
“Dad That I Had”
Glad for my dad and the time that I had/yet im sad for the lad that never had the dad that I had/though dad became mad when his lad was too bad/to clad good with the bad/and happiness with sad/mad just a tad/but glad that my dad/showed a lad is value add/ A lads madness with his dad/Like plaid it was a fad/losing a dad that I had left darkness on a lad/though a dad left us sad and yes a lad was mad/the plan was not his dads but the plan of his Dad!/so for the lad without a dad/like the dad that I had/dont be mad at your dad/but be thankful for the time that you had/when the dad that you had/is called home by his Dad/and if your dad leaves you sad/leave your tears on writing pads/
It is much easier to become a father than to be one. ~Kent Nerburn
Please appreciate the time you have had with your father or your father figure. Please take the time to let them know how you feel and how thankful you are for them. Do not wait until tomorrow, because tomorrow may not be here. It takes a special person to be a father and leaves even a bigger void when they are gone.
“Sometimes the poorest man leaves his children the richest inheritance.” - Ruth E. Renkel
“Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad.” - Author Unknown
”The greatest gift I ever had Came from God; I call him Dad!” – Author Unknown
I have had a lot of thoughts on my mind lately, and to be honest its been kind of rough as of late. Usually doing times such as this, I have to find a way to get these thoughts, feelings, expressions out. Many times that comes in the form of writing lyrics or writing poetry. I typically like to do it as I have here without premeditated thought or plaining…just sit down at the computer and start a “keystyle” if you wish to call it that. I feel it gets my truest thoughts to the paper. Read with an opened mind and I would love to hear your thoughts. This was written in about 10minutes. The explanations at the bottom probably took longer to type, so it may not be my best work. But it definitely channeled some of my negative thoughts.
NOSE DIVE/Below sea level like a bottom feeder
Consume misery/Heart thickens now we got a bleeder/
COAGULATE the blood/find a stoppage for the seeker/
For Better or worse/CROP your thoughts with neither/
Anestetic ETHER/Maybe then that’ll ease the pain/
Stay low/Maybe then I cant feel the rain/
without weight underwater/yet I fell the strain/
But weights lifted off like BAPTISMAL GAINS/
Glance up/See the sparkles of the sun rays
Sun kissed/Reminiscing of the better days/
Never forget/There’s a violence of the better ways/
Crashing down like crescents of the tidal waves/
Continued CRUISING never thought that I would see below/
DRIFTING away, never thought about the sea below/
The interactions/Treading on a thin line
Love and hate/Better days should have been mine.
I understand/I am not the one to scan plans/
True planner awaits for me amongst the warm sands/
I hear You talking/I got a CLOSED FISTS with the torn STRANDS/
Of YOUR garment/Because I know the plan is not man’s/
Symbolic speaking/Feel the Breeze as I take you there/
Im in the ocean/Hoping to live life in a beach chair
At the bottom/I can explore until I want no more/
Live and learn as MY ascension leads me to the shore
Sunset backlit/Ribbons in the sky
I can’t do it, so I had to make this poem cry!!
So many times when you express yourself through words, actions, thoughts, or whatever, the perception is sometimes not what you intended it to be. I have been writing for a while and I have notice that although people enjoy my writing at times, I always sit back and do not feel as though they always understand the depth of my thoughts and why i placed words where I did. It was not just b/c they rhymed you know?!? So I usually dont do this, but today I feel like pointing out SOME(not all) of the reasoning behind some of the words I feel important…they are bold, italicized and in red.
1. Nose Dive – A sudden plunge and decline. A fall from grace….in the context of a reputation or a persons character. I could have used a ton of other action verbs here, but when I think of a nose dive in this context..its often self inflicted in some way. Felt that I should start the poem in this manner b/c I do feel much of the thoughts are on the writer and/or reader that has felt this way
2. Coagulate – medically means to cause the blood to clot to stop bleeding. It means the blood goes from a liquid to a semi-solid state. Somewhat elastic and necessary for tissue repair. Tissue was important to me as I was thinking about growing “tough skin”, but it also connects with what I knew was the last line.
3. Crop – really just a play on words. Crop can mean to ‘produce from rich soil. or it can mean to remove the outer edges or something. I meant this as in not concerning yourself with the better or worse. Live for the moment, live for the growth. Every mistake has a lesson. Dont crop your thoughts or bound them for better or worse.
4. Ether – was one of the original anestetics. It was dripped in a gauze and held over the face like a mask. Ether is also a colorless liquid. This poem was speaking of the ocean(colorless liquid). In expressing the pain we carry, we often wear a mask to disguise that pain. Just thought it was a nice play on the meaning of the word.
5. Baptismal Gains – first and obvious, its about an ocean and being underwater direct play on act of baptism. But more in depth is the “result” of baptism. The rite of purfication and the accepting of Christian faith is where my thoughts led me. Amongst all the rough things I speak of, the rough thoughts, the strain…i have the opportunity or the sense of purification b/c of my Christian faith.
6. Cruising – many words I could have used here. Initially thought of floating, but cruising fit my thoughts better. when you cruise, not only do you take your foot off the brake to go, but you also remove your foot off the gas. You stop the progression of YOUR life and go where it takes you instead of taking command of the speed and going where you see yourself going. Water can bear a lot of weight…but sometimes you can drift off.
7. Drifting – see Number 6. It all ties in. But also, I mention below twice right there. Life is not just about you staying afloat, but also in not only thinking of those below, but how you can lift them up with you.
8. Closed Fists – Just a thought that through all the trials that I am still holding on to His word and Grace. In Christian faith, the story is told of healing power of simply touching the Hem of his garment. Slightly different than what most think today as it was actually the tassle or STRANDS attached to His garment…prayer tassels…you should look it up for interesting info.
Lastly 9. MY – This falls back onto my reason for using NoseDive, this is about self-empowerment through my Christian faith and trusting in His will and Plan. I am no longer waiting on the water to carry me anywhere. I am learning from mistakes and making my claim(which is why the sunset is backlit…behind me) as I try to join Him on those warm sands and relax in my beach chair.
Just my thoughts…Keep it Breezy fam!
If you participate in twitter, Facebook, instagram, WordPress blogging, tumblir, or any other social media outlet(and I am sure it has hit the email several times around), then you have more than likely seen, received, sent, and/or discussed the picture to the left.
I will be honest with you, after seeing/receiving it several times and truly reading it, there are some somewhat valid points on here….but with a catch. I state that I receiving it several times, because I could not get past the first sentence without quickly searching for the delete button, blocking who ever sent it to me, and shaking the closest man in the area that I thought may feed into this…LOL. I am making jokes, but there is truth in my words. Please let me explain.
First and foremost, the first and last sentence of this literature is pure garbage. This is simply an attempt(be it a very poor one for anyone with a logical mind) to manipulate the thinking of the male reader. Neither of these lines are truly to enhance the knowledge of the reader with the goal of creating a man. It is more about giving the female writer something she feels she deserves. You really feel as though for me to not want you to look through my phone makes me less of a man? or is this just in the relationship sense? Both of which are wrong. The last sentence is again a feeble attempt to get the man not to question what he has just read. So quickly let me address these in a lil more detail.
First line: “A boy keeps a password on his phone while a MAN is confident enough to say “baby can you answer that for me”
Are you kidding me? I think that sometimes people fail to realize that even with a marriage, people have separate lives. Marriage or a relationship even is about molding and combining those individual lives together for the betterment of those involved. It does not mean completely giving up one’s self. What if I am helping a friend through a difficult situation. What if there is discussion about private matters related to my job. What if it’s a surprise for you. Yes I love you, Yes I am with you, but I still have a life as well. Where is my RESPECT as a MAN? I have NEVER seen a relationship where either party is SELFLESS(<–please research this word if and its effects on relationships) and it last and/or they are truly happy. FURTHERMORE, I’m just curious as to why you feel the need to go in my phone? hmmm. Is it that you do not trust what is in my phone? Is it that you feel that I am cheating? Do you feel that I have something to hide? Ultimately what I am asking is, has the issue of a man’s locked phone been discussed for so long because the woman does not trust the man?!?!?! As a southern pastor would say…”Ya’ll dont hear me…but I’m gonna PREACH today”.
If that is the case…I can end all that worrying right now and fix it. If you do not TRUST your man, or think he is up to no good…..here is the million dollar solution…..wait for it………LEAVE!!! Ever think of that. Relationships, the intimacy you so desire has long been said to be built on trust. If you don’t TRUST them…LEAVE! Why go through the hassle? Because let me share something with you…..If someone wants to cheat…they will cheat…PERIOD! How do you know they are going to work when they say they are going to work? Are they really out-of-town on business? You do not know these things and will drive yourself crazy without TRUST! This lack of trust will cause you to do things such as….hmmm….want to see a man’s phone. I mean DAMN…you both have the SAME phone…what can mine do that yours doesn’t? It’s not that I don’t want you to go through it(and if my wife needs to use my phone…she gets it..not a problem, but that’s b/c she has never made an issue of it) I just don’t see the point. I never have a never will have a desire to go through my wife’s phone or purse. As a matter of fact, most time if she tells me to get something out of it, I just take the whole purse to her. When her phone is on the counter vibrating, I will yell to her…”your phone is ringing” to which she will say…”who is it?” My answer: “I DONT KNOW….I DIDNT LOOK”. Why? Because its NOT MY PHONE!. If she is doing something, I am a MAN of GOD and feel the truth will come out and I will be better and stronger for that. That was also a message or plug I will share with the ladies….It would not be as much of an issue with the men if you ladies didn’t make such a big deal of it. You give the man the impression that you are searching for something. If feels accused of something whether he has done something or not and you wonder why he is on the defensive. Ever been stopped by police and searched??
I could go on and on, but I’m not. Im not finish, but I will take my seat<–love the pastor quotes..LOL!
Last sentence: “a boy will read this and think this is about him, a MAN will read this and analyze what he needs to work on”
I had a lot more that I was going to say about this one, but changed paths and will try to be brief. Why would you not want a man to think it’s about him. Why are you only a MAN if you read and try to see what you need to work on. If it’s a relationship, wouldn’t it be what WE need to work on? So for me to be a MAN, I should take what you said as gospel and improve upon them. So tell me, what are YOU going to do. This statement is added to make you rethink or mask your feelings if you feel that this is about you. Nothing can be further from the truth. Just as you read and ANALYZE in order to grow, such is the evolution from a boy to a man. Besides, how many times have you heard women in relationships discuss training or raising there MEN…..oxymoron much? Why try to raise a man. C’Mon now. There are some things in the literature that are valid, but the letter in general comes off as somewhat selfish. Pointing the finger at the MAN about all the things that we don’t do, and feeling as though matching that up with a boy vs. man dialogue will help change the MAN(AGAIN). And I will say this too….when thinking of the things that make a GREAT relationship….if the first thing that comes to your mind is a locked cell phone and not what he could or could not be doing and reason why he is or isn’t doing them…you have a whole other set of issues and probably just wasted your time reading this blog, b/c I know you were not opened and just enough to read with understanding.
OK that’s it….but I will say that when you looking at most wedding programs and invitations…you see interlocking rings. Those are two rings…one from the male, one from the female. both worn on the finger that leads straight to the heart. You notice that those rings are intertwined, but never completely eclipse one another. There is a reason for that. The area of those rings that over laps signifies where TWO INDIVIDUALS unite as one. The remaining area of the circle express the INDIVIDUAL. Get it? Just my opinion and its friday and I am gone!
*I DID NOT WRITE THIS TO BASH WOMEN..I LOVE WOMEN(prev post) AND THINK THEY ARE AMAZING…I JUST LIKE TO LOOK AT THINGS FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE TRACK!! JUST MY THOUGHTS ON THE PIC ABOVE NOT WOMEN IN GENERAL!*
So let me start this off by saying….I LOVE WOMEN. I LOVE ALL WOMEN! I LOVE THE LOOK OF A WOMAN! THE WALK OF A WOMAN! THE SMELL OF A WOMAN! THE CURVE OF A WOMAN! THE TOUCH OF A WOMAN! I LOVE INTELLIGENT WOMEN! I LOVE POWERFUL WOMEN! I LOVE INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN! I LOVE STRONG WOMEN!DAMNIT…I JUST LOVE WOMEN!! LOL
I am not saying this only in a physical or sexual manner. I feel that women are queens and should be treated as such. I have an infant/toddler daughter that I am trying my best raise up to be a prominent woman in society. I have always felt this way about women. I was raised old school. If I see you carrying something that looks heavy, I grab it. If you are behind me or even if I see you exiting a room, I hold the door. Its nothing special and nothing that SHOULD be applauded, its called RESPECT! Unfortunately, society of today’s time doesn’t seem to appreciate that same respect. So many women of today, do not even EXPECT to be treated in this way. I don’t know how many times I have held a door for a lady for them to say…”oooh thank you so much…chivalry is not dead!” No it’s not, you simply do not demand it any more.
This had me thinking about women in general and I was taking a look at the images and perceptions of women on television. Let me just say this……….WE NEED TO DO BETTER!!! In some form or fashion, we are all responsible for the future in some way. In particular, all these new reality shows are disturbing. Basketball Wives, Mob Wives, Love & Hip Hop, Jersey Shore, Bad Girls Club, Housewives of (add your city here) paint a pretty negative picture of the woman I have grown to love.
This lead me to the thought of how this has become so acceptable and popular b/c of the money involved. Never mind the moral or ethical issues, it makes money, so we run with it. I’m curious as to why this is not discussed as much as Hip-Hop/Rap was discussed years ago. Why are shows like those listed above being partly blamed for some of the downfalls and actions of our youthful women? Throughout my day, I have surrounded myself with the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and I have NEVER seen women argue, curse, and fight this much. Especially not in the public eye. Its crazy, It’s ridiculous and just foolish to portray the lives that women lead in this manner. Do grown women really have the time and energy to argue, fuss, and fight like this all day??
I feel that this should be a concern for what our ladies have to look up to. If movies/music can cause or suggest murders and violent behavior(not that I necessarily believe or support this theory…keep reading)…..I feel this should be a cause for concern as well. Jay-Z mentioned this in his song “Ignorant Shit” along with some other good points that went unheard. But on the track, Jay says,
“I missed the part where it stopped being about Imus
What do my lyrics got to do with this SHIT?
SCARFACE the movie did more than Scarface the rapper to me
Still that ain’t the blame for all the shit that’s happened to me
Are you saying what I’m spitting,
Is worse than these celebutantes showin’ they kitten, you kidding?
Lets stop the bullshittin’
Til’ we all without sin, let’s quit the pulpit-ing”
I do not and will not allow my daughter to believe that this is life, that this is the way that a young lady should carry herself. *MAYBE YA’LL missed part of that last statement. I….Wizdom…”WILL NOT ALLOW MY DAUGHTER TO BELIEVE THAT THIS IS LIFE,, THAT THIS IS THE WAY A YOUNG LADY SHOULD CARRY HERSELF” <—This is the same argument that I had about hip-hop/rap/rock/heavy metal in the 80′s and 90′s. It does not matter what you are listening to, if you have the presence of your parents teaching you right from wrong, you realize these are just lyrics composed for entertainment. I make this point b/c I am guilty as well, I sit in front of the TV, sometimes in disbelief, and watch these shows. I admit that, but I know the difference. I know this is entertainment. I have young family members that LOVE these shows. I have seen young women that idolize Evelyn b/c she threw a bottle. I know young ladies that life should be about sitting around, drinking at brunch and that this should come easy!! This is not reality!
Another concern is that when you look at most of these shows, MOST of these women are now “famous” only because of the men that they were once involved with. How much independence is that teaching our young women? Why would the young girl with little guidance think she has to work hard to be successful, when she sees that she can go sleep with, make a sex tape with, the right person and she will be well on her way. Where is the image of the beautiful woman who worked hard and succeeded. Where is that inspirational story of someone who had a dream and worked to achieve it. Is it that easy? Is that all you need to do to be successful in life? Because the thing that is not pointed out with many of these ladies are the struggles. Those things, those underlying issues that caused them to act in this way. The family problems or abusive problems growing up. The fact that these very men that they were with to get to this point, are no longer there. And even in the midst of this rich, baller, lifestyle. There lives still appear to be lacking as they are all still seeking LOVE. This is not reality. I am just expressing my thoughts opinions on the matter, but similar thoughts also came from the mouth of one of the cast members. If I had written this blog the other day and mentioned Tami Roman of BasketBall Wives, the conversation would have been a little different, but I read an article and watched a video of her commenting about the show. Concerning the show, she said:
“For the first time I looked at my daughters and they weren’t really proud of their Mom and they were embarrassed of me,” she said, welling up with tears. “I have a huge platform I should be responsible, I should be accountable, and I haven’t really been honoring that.” Ultimately, she takes responsibility and expresses remorse for her actions, saying “The only person who I have to blame is me, because I was the one who got up there and acted a pure fool.”
That’s the thing…..Tami said it best…she has this HUGE Platform. I do not know her to know if she was sincere, but I applaud and respect her for saying this. I am not posting this blog to bash these shows, like I said, I watch them. I do not have a problem with someone watching, but it should be watched subjectively and for what it is…entertainment! How REAL is reality TV when you know the camera’s are going to be there on certain days to film?!?! But I wish that with this platform, they would show more depth and a more positive image of the woman. I LOVE WOMEN and I do not want the only image shown on television of women being them cursing, fighting, discussing who the slept with, divorcing after a week-long marriage, putting raw fish in rooms, always dressing provocative, etc. Although I made comments about how they got there…thats the past and can not be changed. What can be changed is the message they project and the impact they have on our ladies of youth. I recently went to hear Dr. Maya Angelou speak and a quote that stuck with me was “WE are responsible for the time we take up and the space we occupy.”
We need those positive images, those inspirational stories, those avenues of hope. We need more Claire Huxtable’s on the screen. Strong, Prominent, Respectful, Career-minding family women! We need more Michelle Obama’s in life….educated, devoted, motherly, compassionate women. We need this! Our daughters need this. We need these rays of hopes. We need these pictures of hope!
WOW…I have been trying to get this blog out since the beginning of the month and its taking me this long….Its what, March 21. I apologize. With that said, I have a lot to say as a lot has gone on ….personally, professionally, and nationally! I posted on my twitter,(@SpokenWizdom<== Shameless Plug… follow me) “It is a GREAT asset to life that even in the midst of a storm…we can find a blessing”!!!! You have to be able to work through the storm and turn a negative to a positive…..Anyway, this may be a long one and I don’t know how long the little one is going to give me, so let me jump right into a few things….
So since the last post, I reach my limit of craziness at my job. There were some people throwing negative energy and doing anything they could to not only alter my journey but also to stunt my growth. If you know me, you know my fuse is not the longest. In the words of Steve Harvey, “He Aint Through With Me Yet”. So I felt it best that I remove myself from the situation and beginning looking for either an internal transfer or place of new employment. Starting March 12, I began working at my new company. Not only was it somewhat of a promotion, but it was also nice pay raise.
There has been other ups and downs I have throughout the month, but I have continued to remain standing and keep fighting. I have learned in life that you always have to do the best that you can do in any situation. When trying, I could fail or I could succeed, but I can’t obtain the latter if I never TRY and whether the storm..
Enough about me, lets talk about the rest of the month through the eyes of Wizdom. So earlier in the month while I was ummm training for the new job, I was blown away by some of the craziness on the news sites that I had “mistakenly” visited. Now, it’s always craziness in the news, but this day just stuck out with me and truly made me think of where we were as a society. The feature stories at the top of the page were about: 1. A woman faking cancer to raise money, 2. a dating website was sued for using pics of a dead soldier/veteran, and 3. 2nd teen died in Ohio School Shooting. These three stories alone showed a loss of integrity, trust, respect, self-respect, patriotism, control, and common sense. The scarier part about this to me is that its like a run away train car…..we see it, we watch, but yet we do nothing to take cover…smh….and yes I said WE…myself included.(i could go on, but im trying to keep it moving….
Next….before some recent events to come later, this was my piece not being posted earlier was most upsetting to me. March 9, 2012 marked 15yrs since the death of a legend in the game up hip hop….Christopher Wallace aka Notorious BIG aka Biggie Smalls aka Big Poppa aka Frank White!!! I read an article discussing current artists and the influence he had on the game…great read!! Definitely gone tooo too soon! Maybe later I will be able to speak more on BIG and his legacy, but still trying to push on(especially since my daughter just joked and coughed a pear piece 3 ft…smh…yeah that kind of night). #RIP BIG
In Sports: March Madness……..so far…liing up to its name…….How much did Missouri ruin your brackets?!?! NFL has the bounty system, the free agent frenzy, the moving of Tebow to the Jets, interesting draft on the way…so who knows how the season will go. NBA……..it was time, but still hard to watch my LAKERS trade away Fisher…….still moving.
Ok, the aspect that I have been trying so hard to get to is very important for a variety of reason. I am not big on diving into politics, but I will try to be as opened, as fair, as politically correct as I can be. I always consider myself good at viewing things from different angles, so we will see how this goes. If you have been out from under a rock, you have heard about the horrible story of Trayvon Martin in Florida. Not to minimize it, but to avoid providing useless, known info, I will give a quick recap. Trayvon, a 17 year old black teen, was walking from the store after buying candy and heading back to the girlfriend of his fathers. The self-appointed neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman, called police, and reported the black teen with a hoodie on walking around the neighborhood looking suspicious. Police told him not to follow, and that an officer was en route. Moments later Martin was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest that Zimmerman said was an act of self-defense.
As if the killing was not enough, the story has gain national attention because Zimmerman was not charged or even arrested. He was taken at his word and that was that. This storm gained additional strength when various details have come out. 911 phone calls of neighbors with cries for help in the background just before shots are fired, phone discussion with Martin and his 16yr old girlfriend as he discussed being followed and that he put the hood on out of fear, the convo between Zimmerman and the dispatcher as she advised him not to follow, the information/rules concerning the conduct of a neighborhood watch captain. It is a very painful story to read about, to hear, to think about. This was a baby, a young man whose chance at life was taken away from him due to ignorance. I was not there, and can only speak my opinion based on my own experiences but truly do not feel it was in self-defense. I think it bothers me even more that this was accepted even before evidence was fully investigated. This young man, this teen, this baby had in his possession exactly what he went out to get, a snack…..a bag of skittles and a can of tea and it cost him his life. It hurt me deeply and brought me to tears to read of how his girlfriend was on the phone telling him to run, but he said he would just walk fast. I have been there……when you have that mindset that you don’t want to bring unwanted attention. I could only think of my daughter and young family members as I heard him screaming help and pleading for his life.
So with Zimmerman not being arrested, the national headlines have brought light to the situation. With the help of protest across the country, the Feds are not investigating. If I am not mistaken Police Chief Lee, who backed his decision not to arrest Zimmerman to the end, took a temporary leave of absence or resigned or something. I was reading a quote from Zimmerman’s father that said that once details come out, people should feel outraged at how they treated his son….really? Are you serious. There is a family that has lost a 17 year old son to a senseless act of power-stricken ignorance. <— OK..starting to lose it so I better close it out with a few notes of Wizdom:
1. A few things about this elongated post. We have to stay positive, no matter the situation or negativity we face. Find that blessing in any situation and know that GOD did not bring you this far to leave you.
2. Society really needs to look in the mirror and gain control before it’s too late. Some of the things I read are amazing to me and I just can believe that this is the way it was supposed to be. This is a problem for all and can only be stopped by those involved. We need to stop talking about it and stop turning our heads and address the issue. We need to hold strong in beliefs, connect with these kids literally and figuratively at an early age. We need to respect the life we are giving and treat it as such.
3. Please do not keep the wool over your heads and feel that racism no longer exists. You can look at the treatment of President Obama. Hell I even blogged about it earlier. It takes a whole new form. It’s an entirely different monster we are fighting. In the past, racism was widely known and celebrated, now it may be even more dangerous because its hidden agenda runs so deep to the point where you cant see it common. RACISM is still very prevalent, across races and within them!!
4. I probably should have devoted an entire post to the Trayvon Martin tragedy, but there is so much I want to say, but it weighed soo heavy on me, I’m not prepared for that just yet. But I will say this….people always unite as a reaction to something going wrong….death of a superstar, unfair treatment, racial acts, killings, which is great. But WHY can’t WE be proactive and band together in those same ways to try to prevent these acts from happening. I know we cant stop them all, but the one we avoid could be the one that saves a 17yr old child!!
I warned you it would be long, and I tried to cut it as much as possible….there was so much more I could say…..I hope you read it through though. These are just opinions I wanted to bring to light and hopeful that you will do the research to form your own assessment. I’m not trying to say I’m right, or force my conclusion, just trying to bring acknowledgement and hopefully wake up some initiative.
RIP Trayvon Martin
I can only hope that we will not let your life be in vain. I pray for your family, friends, and loved ones!
With today being the first day of Black History Month, I felt that I had to share this article/letter with you. This morning I ran across a letter from a freed slave to his former slave master. To be completely honest, I often feel a different kind of way when I hear of these tells or read about something during this time period. It just seems so difficult to comprehend the level of struggle and negative treatment that was endured in order for the world(although still very flawed!) today. But this one, although it did get my wheels to turning, gave me a glimpse of another view. It made me think of the level of accomplishment and pride that Jourdon Anderson must have felt when writing this response to his former slave master’s request for him to return to the plantation to work for him.
If you could take the time to read it and let me know your thoughts and comments, it would be greatly appreciated. It is VERY IMPORTANT to read the entire letter. If you are like me, when you first start reading it, you will be thinking, “is he serious? You have to be kidding me!” But just read on! Typically I do not post an entire article, but rather link you to the original source, but I do not want you to get lazy on me and not continue reading. Therefore I am posting the entire article and hope that “Letters of Note” will understand. You can visit their page by clicking the banner below:
To My Old Master
In August of 1865, a Colonel P.H. Anderson of Big Spring, Tennessee, wrote to his former slave, Jourdan Anderson, and requested that he come back to work on his farm. Jourdan — who, since being emancipated, had moved to Ohio, found paid work, and was now supporting his family — responded spectacularly by way of the letter seen below (a letter which, according to newspapers at the time, he dictated).
Rather than quote the numerous highlights in this letter, I’ll simply leave you to enjoy it. Do make sure you read to the end.
August 7, 1865
To My Old Master, Colonel P.H. Anderson, Big Spring, Tennessee
Sir: I got your letter, and was glad to find that you had not forgotten Jourdon, and that you wanted me to come back and live with you again, promising to do better for me than anybody else can. I have often felt uneasy about you. I thought the Yankees would have hung you long before this, for harboring Rebs they found at your house. I suppose they never heard about your going to Colonel Martin’s to kill the Union soldier that was left by his company in their stable. Although you shot at me twice before I left you, I did not want to hear of your being hurt, and am glad you are still living. It would do me good to go back to the dear old home again, and see Miss Mary and Miss Martha and Allen, Esther, Green, and Lee. Give my love to them all, and tell them I hope we will meet in the better world, if not in this. I would have gone back to see you all when I was working in the Nashville Hospital, but one of the neighbors told me that Henry intended to shoot me if he ever got a chance.
I want to know particularly what the good chance is you propose to give me. I am doing tolerably well here. I get twenty-five dollars a month, with victuals and clothing; have a comfortable home for Mandy,—the folks call her Mrs. Anderson,—and the children—Milly, Jane, and Grundy—go to school and are learning well. The teacher says Grundy has a head for a preacher. They go to Sunday school, and Mandy and me attend church regularly. We are kindly treated. Sometimes we overhear others saying, “Them colored people were slaves” down in Tennessee. The children feel hurt when they hear such remarks; but I tell them it was no disgrace in Tennessee to belong to Colonel Anderson. Many darkeys would have been proud, as I used to be, to call you master. Now if you will write and say what wages you will give me, I will be better able to decide whether it would be to my advantage to move back again.
As to my freedom, which you say I can have, there is nothing to be gained on that score, as I got my free papers in 1864 from the Provost-Marshal-General of the Department of Nashville. Mandy says she would be afraid to go back without some proof that you were disposed to treat us justly and kindly; and we have concluded to test your sincerity by asking you to send us our wages for the time we served you. This will make us forget and forgive old scores, and rely on your justice and friendship in the future. I served you faithfully for thirty-two years, and Mandy twenty years. At twenty-five dollars a month for me, and two dollars a week for Mandy, our earnings would amount to eleven thousand six hundred and eighty dollars. Add to this the interest for the time our wages have been kept back, and deduct what you paid for our clothing, and three doctor’s visits to me, and pulling a tooth for Mandy, and the balance will show what we are in justice entitled to. Please send the money by Adams’s Express, in care of V. Winters, Esq., Dayton, Ohio. If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the past, we can have little faith in your promises in the future. We trust the good Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for generations without recompense. Here I draw my wages every Saturday night; but in Tennessee there was never any pay-day for the negroes any more than for the horses and cows. Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire.
In answering this letter, please state if there would be any safety for my Milly and Jane, who are now grown up, and both good-looking girls. You know how it was with poor Matilda and Catherine. I would rather stay here and starve—and die, if it come to that—than have my girls brought to shame by the violence and wickedness of their young masters. You will also please state if there has been any schools opened for the colored children in your neighborhood. The great desire of my life now is to give my children an education, and have them form virtuous habits.
Say howdy to George Carter, and thank him for taking the pistol from you when you were shooting at me.
From your old servant,
Whats going on fellow seekers of Wizdom?!?! Its 2012 and I have not been in touch like I should. You know that’s the excuse for everything. “Its 2012, can we please stop this..”, “Why do we have to still deal with this in 2012?” <—Did you do anything to alter 2012 from 2011?? I’ll wait………
But not to get off track. I’m sitting here and thinking about bits of wizdom and what they are to me. Truly its more so about common sense. The simple things in life that are often overlooked, taken for granted, or often not thought about it. So it’s not that I just know soooo much more than everyone else…just like to keep certain things in the air, so to speak.
So today im thinking about work and co-workers. These coworkers that you spend more time with than your own families. These co-workers that you form these great bonds with it. These co-workers that birth these great long-lasting, trustworthy, and caring relationships. Anyone catching the sarcasm yet? Honestly there are times when this happens, but not very often. What is amazing is that I do feel the interaction between you and a co-worker actually start out that way. Then comes competition! and from the competition is the derivation of one trying to take advantage of another. This is when a co-worker tries to get another to do his work. Or maybe the co-worker tries to take away some of the shine of a fellow employee. Probably the worst one for me is the one that runs to the boss/manager/supervisor behind the others back. Yeah I guess that funny conversation at the water cooler didn’t mean what you thought huh? Even more amazing is just how fast the tides turn. Sometimes the issues arise from things that have absolutely nothing to do with work. They may be unhappy at home or their own life in general. They may be intimidated by your qualities, education, or work ethic. They may be envious of you for some reason. These can be things that you have done nothing to deserve or had nothing to do with the creation of, but yet you take the blunt force of their impact on another. Remember: To whom much is given, MUCH IS TESTED!!
All this is said to simply say know your surroundings people. Never get too complacent. Complacency leads to oversight and taking things for granted. Once this happens, you are opening yourself up to vulnerabilities! I am not saying be the negative, anti-social co-worker by any means. What I am saying is that you have to take things for what they are and always be aware! Do not get too comfortable and have that he/she would not do this or that. They will!! And it’s that unexpected move which stabs the deepest! This is why you have to always be prepared! My father used to always tell me to CYA(for the slower group that is COVER YOUR ASS!). My father was not the most organized, but I remember him carrying a tablet around and he wrote down everything that was going on at work with names, dates, and times. When something came up, he could always refer back and cover himself. Now we are in a different time, but it’s still the same idea. Save your emails! Even when I talk on the phone with someone, I still ask if they will email it to me or I will email it to them to “ensure the information is correct.” Make a record of things and protect yourself at all times! Be sure to always document your correspondence with others, keep a record of the task within that project that you were responsible for. Ensure that you receive the credit for your work! Ask questions for yourself as opposed to always assuming the co-worker is telling you the truth. Try to avoid cliques and be a well-rounded individual and actually put forth effort to always avoid negativity! Be cordial with as many people as possible, it provides more opportunity for you to hear of the rumblings in the office adn some of the thoughts and/or issues of co-workers. You can never stop workplace politics, but never allow yourself to feel as though they do not exists!! Dont believe me? Wait until an opening for a promotion comes available and come back and tell me about you and your great co-worker. Whether right or wrong it becomes a dog eat dog world…smh.
This is also relevant in life. You have to always be cognizant of your surroundings. Who typically has the ability to hurt you more? Those that are close or appear close. When you read or think of the quote, ”keep your friends close, and your enemies even closer” you have to sometimes realize that you are not the only one reading that quote. That person across the table from you at dinner or at the bar with you, may be thinking that same thing. They know about you. they know what you like, they know what you dislike, they know your Achilles heel. I am not saying this of a friend, please understand that. A true friend is one of the greatest values you can have. I am talking about that “supposed” friend, the one that should be little more than an associate. In essence, I am simply saying be careful of who you let in your circle AND how close you let them get to the center. Treat your trust and friendship just as it is….precious, valuable, and dear.
Ok that’s it…..that last line felt like I was writing a hallmark card, which lets me know its time for my exit!! Let me know what you think about the post. agree? disagree? experienced issues?
I just wanted to send a quick message to you all and send a Happy New Years from SpokenWizdom!!!
In the midst of all the fun of tonight…be sure to reflect on 2011 and ensure that you grow from both your successes and failures….it’s all about progression!!! It’s a new year…let’s reach new heights!!!
I do not wish to share nor hear the “New Years Resolutions” that everyone comes up with EVERY Year. It’s time to actually do that which you typically speak on and this year let your ACTIONS speak instead. I trust in you and believe in you and look forward to sharing in the journey!!
Stay Determined, Stay Committed, and Stay Consistent
Heres to an Amazing and Productive 2012!!